Happy New Year! I hope you had a nice New Year’s Eve and a great start into 2017 as well as a good time with your families or friends celebrating.
Before I started blogging I wrote a year review of 2015 for myself. I went through every month and listed all the things that made me happy or were an exciting part of my year. Writing that imaginary ‘blog post’ was so much fun and I really wanted to do it again, but this time as an actual blog post.
I celebrated New Year’s Eve in Hong Kong with my friend from childhoof, Estelle, her father, her brother and the brother’s girlfriend which was so much fun (I have previously written a blog post about our week here). We went to the harbour of the city where we welcomed the New Year. The fireworks were very impressive and I have never celebrated New Year’s Eve along with so many other people.
After I was back in Germany again I went to IKEA with my mom. I love going shopping for little home decorations and especially at IKEA. Over the last 2 years this has become a tradition that we go to the home center at the beginning of the year. And we have to have Swedish Meatballs for lunch which is a must. I really enjoy doing this every year.
In January one of my best friends and I went shopping and we found a cute coffee shop in our hometown where they have the best hot chocolate of our city. Ever since we go there at least once a month and talk about everything from boys, school and music to things we saw on tumblr. These ‘coffee meetings’ make me super happy and I get to spend time with my friend that way.
Another tradition that has developed over the last two years is having a sleepover with one of my closest friends from school. This year it was so cold outside that there was snow in Febuary. We built a snowman and had a snowball fight (of course) which was so much fun!
In that month my mom forced me to learn the card game Bridge. I went to a Bridge class and I did not have a lot of fun there because the game is not easy to learn… But I met two girls at the course and we talked about everything under the sun rather than playing Bridge. They are both very inspiring human beings in their own special way and I learned a lot from them.
In March it was finally time to go back to Singapore again for two weeks! As you may know I have lived there for 8 years and I do miss my old home country a lot. It was so nice to be back and see what has changed. My parents and I visited a lot of the places we used to go to back then.
This sounds a bit funny but one of the things I miss the most about Singapore is the food. I absolutely love the Asian cuisine! My favourite foods are Dim Sum, Hot Buns, Noodle soup, Fried Rice and my favourite drink is an Ice Milo. (I got so hungry typing this…)
In April I celebrated my birthday (which is actually in March) with some of my friends. We went to a wildlife park where you can see a lot of cute animals which live in the woods. Afterwards we had brunch in a restaurant nearby. I had so much fun and it was so nice having all of my friends around to celebrate my birthday with me.
Two of my friends have participated in a French exchange program and finally it was time that their exchange partners came to Germany for three months! They went to school with us, participated in class and had their free time in the afternooon. Although the rest of our friendship group and myself didn’t take part in the exchange we were excited to meet the exchange partners as well. The first few days started off being a bit akward because we knew nothing about each other and it took a few weeks until we knew more about them.
A highlight of the month was the hike in the woods I did with my friends. We made sandwiches and packed food to have a picknick. The exchange partners from France joined us which was great fun! That way we got active and showed them a part of our hometown. I’m a very unathletic person so the hike was quite hard for me… But still I enjoyed the day. We talked and just relaxed in the sun which we don’t get to do that often in private.
My whole class was looking forward to May because it meant that it was finally time to go to our classtrip to Hamburg! We spent three days with our entire grade there. We visited the harbour of Hamburg, the wax works, went through the old Elbtunnel and did a boat tour on the river Elbe. Our grade stayed at a youth hostel and I shared a room with some of my friends and the rest of the mates had a room just next to ours. Every night our friendship group gathered in one of the rooms and played card games, talked for hours and ate unhealthy snacks. The card game we played the most is called ‘Werewolf’. If you are gathered with a group of 8-12 persons this game is a must. It is a simple role-playing game which is so much fun! All in all the three days in Hamburg were a great experience and it was nice to spend some time with my class and my friends together.
My grandparents have a daisy field in their garden which blossoms in Spring and it looks absoloutely amazing. Every year I take pictures of the daisies and my mom takes pictures of me sitting in the field of flowers. Daisies are definitely my favourite flowers!
My extended family lives spread all over Germany so we don’t get to see each other that often. Every year we organize a family reunion which takes place in a different German city every time. In 2016 we met in Würzburg which is in northern Bavaria. I had never been there before and I liked the city at once. We went to the fortress of the city and it was such an impressive place to be, overlooking the town from above. There are little garden areas all around which makes it a very calming area, too.
Every year a few weeks before the summer holidays the graduating students have one day where they do fun mini games for the other students and teachers, play loud music and do some pranks. That is by far the best day of the whole school year! This year the graduating students locked the entrance of the school and filled it with balloons. Then the janitor had to play a mini game to find the key to the entrance and sadly we couldn’t go to class that way… 😉
In July I did a sleepover party with 6 of my friends and the two exchange students whom I have mentioned earlier. It was really hot outside so we went swimming and had a BBQ afterwards. During summer the European Soccer Championship took place. I think it was the semifinals and Germany played versus France and it was obvious that we had to watch it together which we did. After a few minutes we didn’t pay attention to the game but to the soccer players and discussed who looked the best… The sleepover was so much fun and definitely one of my highlights of 2016!
The last day of school was actually really, really sad. First of all it meant that we would come into 10th grade and that every single class would be split up into courses. Second of all it meant that we had to say goodbye to the exchange students from France and that our two friends would go to France for three months. Let’s just say that there were a lot of tears on the last day of school… After school I went to a local lake with some of my classmates and of course with my friends. The exchange students came along too and it was good to spend some time with them before they left again.
In my summer holidays I went to Barcelona with my parents (I have written a blog post about our visit here). I had been to Barcelona once before but still it was nice to come back. We went to the Sagrada Familia, Hospital Saint Pau, El Parque Güell, La Casa Battló, La Pedrera and to Montserrat. What a great city!
The second week of vacation was very exciting! My mother’s cousin has a daughter who is the same age as me and we have texted for two years but we had never met each other. We made plans and Linda came over by train to my hometown. It wasn’t akward at all and we just clicked at once. One evening was very special because we saw a magical sunset! Since that night I get sooo excited whenever I see a beautiful sunset somewhere.
I have this good friend of mine who is a fantastic and rather fanatic runner. Sometimes me and my family come along to competitions he does and cheer for him. In August it was time for another event in Bremen. At these competitions we have a lot of time to kill before the actual contest begins. That way we get to see a lot of new cities in Germany we have never been to before. I had never been to Bremen before and I really liked the city! The shopping is great and there are little cafés and restaurants everywhere. The downtown part of the city is so cute because the houses are so tiny and they are all in pastel colours which I really liked. The alleys are narrow which makes the neighbourhood feel all cozy somehow…
The day before school started again I met two of my closer friends. We had some ice cream and went to a shop where they had this cool photo booth. We took some cute pictures there and it was so lovely to catch up with both of them!
In August school started again and that meant that I came into 10th grade. It feels so strange! I feel like it’s been not too long ago since I entered 5th grade. As I have mentioned earlier we don’t have classes anymore and instead everybody has their own individual timetable and their own courses. Right when we got our schedules my friends and I compared our timetables to see if we would have any classes together. There are some subjects which I have together with some of my friends and in some classes I don’t have anybody from my friendship group.
I feel like when school begins you have to figure out how everything works and takes place. After one month everything was clear: on Tuesdays where I have a free period I will go to the supermarket with some friends from school, on Wednesdays I have 10 periods and I have PE with one of the mates… And after one month you know which teacher is always late and which teacher is pretty chilled in class and which subjects are fun and which aren’t.
Every year in September my hometown does this local village fair which I went to with some of my old classmates. We had a lot of fun going there, buying candy, going shopping and meeting some friends.
Remember the running friend from earlier? In September we went to Dortmund but just for fun, this time he didn’t have a competition. We went shopping and I went to Starbucks. I tried the Pumpkin Spiced Latte for the first time! I have heard so many people talk about that Starbucks drink and that’s why I figured I had to give it a go. I really liked it and I’m actually sad that they don’t have the drink during the rest of the year.
I love autumn (blog post here) and I always make sure that my room is decorated autumnal as well. I went to a local pumpkin market with my mom, my aunt and my grandma and we bought some real pumpkins to decorate the house with. They had pumpkins in all sorts of sizes, colours and shapes which was amazing! Also, I saw some beautiful sunsets which weren’t pink or red how you usually know them but the ones I saw in October were orange and yellow just like pumpkins…
Every year the “Frankfurter Buchmesse” takes place and my mom and I are real bookworms and we have always wanted to go to this big book fair. I met Isabel Abedi who is one of my favourite authors. I had read the “Lola” books when I was about eight years old and it was so nice to talk to her and meet her in person!
In my autumn holidays I went to Rhodes with my parents. The hotel in which we stayed was so cool and it was nice to just relax in the sun. Back in Germany again I invited two of my closer friends over and we had a little autumnal photo shoot. Mostly we took some goofy pictures where we pull a crazy face but still it was a lot of fun!
A few weeks ago I went to an orthodontist and I was told that I have 4 wisdom teeth and I should get all of them removed. I had several pre-operation appointments and soon it was clear that I had to get full anasthetics for the surgery. I was so nervous and a bit anxious about the surgery… Two hours later I was okay, wisdom teeth removed and I was ready to go back home! I had to take a lot of medication and also pain killers. If you have to get your wisdom teeth out remember to buy some cold packs and cool your cheeks all the time even at night. That way the wounds will heal faster and you won’t get so many bruises and keep swelling to a minimum.
For about five years I have watched the YouTube videos and listend to the music of my favourite band Cimorelli. In summer I heard that they were going to do a European tour and that they were coming to Germany and I instantely knew that I had to go to one of their concerts! I saved up my pocket money and bought myself a ticket to one of the shows in Hamburg. The concert itself was amazing and it turned out to become one of my favourite days of the year 2016. It was incredible to finally see Cimorelli performing! They have been and still are one of my biggest inspirations. I sang along kind of badly but still I had a lot of fun at the show.
At the end of November I exchanged advent calendars with a friend of mine. We have made each other an advent calendar and I had so much fun doing one for her! I filled every day’s pocket with a letter where I retold some of our previous adventures and bought an item which fit to that memory.
I love December for various reasons. Everybody counts down the days till Christmas and everybody is excited for the new year. I got to decorate my room with winterly decor and with a lot of fairy lights. I had a chocolate advent calendar and I really liked eating chocolate every day in the mornings…
Sadly December is also the time of tests and studying. I had taken four tests in the last few weeks of school and it felt so great to finally have holidays and some free time again.
I had spent Christmas with my family and I got some awesome presents! For example I had wanted a FitBit fitness tracker for a really long time and now I finally own one. The FitBit tracks how many steps you take every day or how your sleep was and more such things. I also got two books which I had wanted to read for months, ‘Life Uploaded’ by Sierra Furtado and ‘Girl Online Going Solo’ by Zoe Sugg aka. Zoella. I had already read these books a few days after I had gotten them and they were both absolutely amazing!
I had spent New Year’s Eve with friends of my family. We had had Raclette for dinner which is very common for Germans to eat on that day. Everybody has their own little pan and you fill it first with cheese and then with any other toppings you want like cubed ham or corn. Next you put the pan on a Raclette grill and wait till the cheese has melted. We usually put the melted cheese over some potatoes which tastes soo good! After dinner we had talked about anything under the sun and played board games. The fireworks over my hometown were so beautiful and I really liked welcoming the new year with the friends of my family.
All in all 2016 wasn’t such a bad year for me personally. I had a lot of fun spending time with friends and family and I traveled some great cities. I’m very excited for 2017 and the things I am going to experience!
What were your highlights of the year 2016?